Dementia symptoms diminished with regular yoga, meditation
Yoga and meditation can have a significant affect on your mental health. Helen Lavretsky, M.D., M.S., director of the late-life mood, stress, and wellness research program at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA explains the benefits of participating in Yoga and Meditation:
“In a way, both yoga and meditation are ‘brain exercises’ that engage different parts of the brain based on the components of practice (breathing, movement, postures, chanting, visualization, concentration), and can help the brain form new connections and recover from injuries, or as we call it, to stimulate neuroplasticity.”
Chronic stress can cause inflammation in your body and to your nervous system, which is connected to Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic stress has also been linked to memory and cognition issues. When you take part in Yoga or Meditation, you are lowering your stress hormones and inflammatory problems.
In order to prove this, Dr. Lavretsky began performing her own studies. She took 25 participants and studied them for 12 weeks. Fourteen participants enrolled in a 1-hour Kundalini yoga class, as well as practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation for 20-minutes daily. The other 11 participants focused on memory enhancement training, like crossword puzzles and computer games, once a week once a week and spent 20-minutes daily completing a memory exercise.
Kundalini yoga is commonly referred to as “yoga of awareness.” This means that you combine chanting, meditation, and breathing techniques. Kirtan Kriya meditation is a little bit different from what we think of when it comes to traditional forms of meditation. It is an active meditation where you use hand movements, light visualizing, and chanting.
Both groups showed improvement in their verbal memory skill, which is essential for remembering names and lists of words. However, the yoga-mediation group also experienced improved skills to navigate and remember locations. Additionally, the yoga-meditation group had better coping skills, stress resilience, and even lowered levels of anxiety and depression. They also found that only participants in the yoga-meditation group had significant brain connectivity changes.
Have you personally felt a difference in your mental state after doing Yoga or Meditating? Let’s talk here, or find me on Instagram @Become_Bright_Within